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Max Thon

Cluster position YEP Student

Cluster member since 2019

Main research topics

Personnel & organizational economics, economics of discrimination, and economics of crime

CV

Max Thon is a doctoral student under the supervision of Prof. Gürtler at the Faculty of Management, Economics, and Social Sciences at the University of Cologne. His research focuses on applied microeconomics, especially in the fields of personnel & organizational economics, economics of discrimination, and economics of crime. Moreover, he works as a teaching assistant for the modules Principles of Microeconomics, Competition Policy, and the bachelor’s seminar of Prof. Gürtler.

Interview

What is the best thing about your job?

Not carrying out routine work, but being constantly forced to step out of my comfort zone. Also, the opportunity to acquire knowledge that is of interest to the broader population.

If you had not gone into research, what would you be doing today?

To me, it would have been important to fulfil socially relevant work. This might have been in political institutions or in a classical economic consultancy in which I could work in a methodologically sound way.

Who or what inspires you?

Two characteristics: For one thing, the ability to deal with resistance in one’s own activity in such a way that doing it remains a passion. On the other hand, determination to achieve a change even if only on a very small scale.

When was the last time you had to change your mind?

I take a long time to form a firm judgement, as I try to remain very consciously open to further information. Typically, some people have already studied the issues much deeper or longer, which makes it advisable to consult them. However, since I work empirically, it often occurs that the data analyses point in a completely new direction.

Which advice would you have needed yourself earlier as a doctoral student?

“Expect unforeseen, accidental events to torpedo your work, even though you have put in a great effort, and take this advice seriously”. My first six months of work on field experiments in the travel industry collapsed due to the pandemic. Now I approach projects more calmly, despite high expectations.